Ancrene Wiseass

A would-be medievalist holds forth on academia, teaching, gender politics, blogging, pop culture, critters, and whatever else comes her way.

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Yes, this really is yet another blog by a disillusioned grad student. I sympathize, but that's just the way it has to be. For hints as to what my bizarre alias means, click here and here and, if needed, here and here. To get a sense of what I'm up to, feel free to check out the sections called "Toward a Wiseass Creed" and "Showings: Some Introductory Wiseassery" in my main blog's left-hand sidebar. Please be aware that spamming, harassing, or otherwise obnoxious comments will be deleted and traced.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

More thoughts on Tribblegate

I was going to post this as a comment at Badger's site, but HaloScan wasn't cooperative, and the comment was turning into something more like a regular post, anyway. So I've just cleaned it up, expanded it a bit, and posted it here:

You know, if there's one thing that seems to unite many of us with academic blogs, it seems to be that we have a reasonable dose of skepticism about the academy and our place in it.

In fact, I rather suspect that is the real threat perceived by Dr. Tribble and those search-committee colleagues who agreed with his assessments. Upon the basis of the majority of the academic blogs I read, I'd say he's right in his assumption that most bloggers are not going to mindlessly fall into lock-step with whatever their institution decides is right, just for the sake of some mafia-esque code of loyalty.

In fact, I'd say that it's often (though not always and not only) in academic blogs that I've found the healthy questioning, the honest intellectual engagement, and the commitment to a continuing and reciprocal education I expected to find in the bricks-and-mortar academy in my less disgruntled days. I'd even go so far as to assert that some academic blogs, and perhaps even the wider community of academic bloggers as a whole, is where much of the real conscience of academia now resides.

It certainly doesn't reside in the kind of petty, self-satisfied, pay-no-attention-to-the-man-behind-the-curtain attitude that gets published all too often in The Chronicle and which seems to be the reigning ideology in far, far too much of the academic world.

In other words, I think there are good reasons for the sorts of folks who tend to get published in the Chronicle to view blogs with fear and loathing. To be perfectly honest, I don't think we're likely to be counted among their allies.